Title: Leave the Night On
Author: Laura Trentham
Series: Cottonbloom #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge–life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .
Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiance’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .
Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage–and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?
Source: ARC from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
If you’re looking for an easy summer read with small town charm and a lovely romance, then this is a fairly good bet. Mixing a good girl from one side of the river, with a bad boy from the other, there’s a lot of facing down expectations, mixed up feelings and family drama, but at heart it’s mostly about Sutton learning there’s so much more to herself and her life than she’s let herself feel so far.
I loved Wyatt. He’s sweet as well as sexy, good at what he does, yet has a streak of vulnerability about who he is and how he fits in, not just with Sutton but with his own family. His feelings for Sutton go way back and pretty deep, but he tries so hard not to show it in case he scares her away. He’s adorable and I really liked him.
I liked Sutton too, even if she frustrated me at times. The joint betrayal that kicks things off did make me sympathise with her, but some of the things it leads to made her seem a bit immature. She uses Wyatt throughout and is clearly getting the better end of the deal, yet somehow she doesn’t trust him because of the mess she made of everything. However, when there’s no artifice or bad ideas hanging around and it’s just the two of them, I did think they made a great match. They definitely have plenty to offer each other, especially when it comes to support, so I was happy to keep reading in the hope that Sutton would sort her own head out.
Away from the romance, this book definitely has a feel of the first in a series about it, despite being the fourth book set in Cottonbloom. Which is great if you’re new, because a lot of the book focuses on the introduction of the four Abbott brothers, giving glimpses of the things that bind them together and the stresses that threaten to break them apart. The only problem I had with this was that so many threads were hinted at about the wider Abbott brothers’ story that a lot of it was left unfinished by the end, leaving me a little unsatisfied – especially the Ford issue. Throw that in with the half-hearted bit of drama right towards the end and this didn’t end as strongly as I might have hoped. I did like the epilogue, but the overall feeling I had at the end was unsettled rather than content, mostly because the Abbott brothers have got a lot of work yet to do.
Overall, I enjoyed this. It didn’t sweep me up as much as I’d hoped and the beginning was a lot stronger than the ending, but I loved Wyatt and thought Sutton was a good match for him. The romance was easily enjoyable, the characters interesting and I definitely want to know what happens next.
Leave the Night On is Out Now.
Visit Laura Trentham for more details.